I never thought it would come to this for Lord Tensai.
It appears that the master of WWE’s People Power, John Laurinaitis himself, is perhaps Tensai’s (played by Matt Bloom) last chance to stay relevant.
Despite dominating in-ring competition since arriving in WWE roughly a month ago, Lord Tensai continues to receive absolutely no pop from crowds everywhere. With Tensai poised to be in Laurinaitis’s corner in a potential showdown between the GM and John Cena at Over the Limit, it appears that Tensai’s stagnant storyline has been given a much-needed new dynamic.
However, if Tensai still fails to get any reaction from WWE crowds in the coming weeks, it could spell a quick exit for the artist formerly known as Albert.
A huge reason for the lackluster reception is the fact that the Tensai character was forced from the beginning. As a fan who grew up watching Bloom compete in both the Attitude and Ruthless Aggression eras as the mighty aforementioned Albert, I was thrilled when I first heard that Bloom was returning to WWE.
But this delight soon turned to disappointment when I discovered that he was transforming into some kind of poser Japanese grappler. I can only imagine what Japanese WWE fans find most disturbing about Bloom’s gimmick.
It could be his attempts to speak broken Japanese at times. Booking Tensai as an American wrestler who came over from Japan with his American heritage still intact would’ve been more believable than an American wrestler trying—and failing—to immerse himself in another culture.
Also, that ugly facial tattoo of Japanese text peppering Tensai’s mug isn’t doing him any favors. It’s a good thing Tensai’s face paint isn’t permanent, because you personally couldn’t pay me enough (unless we’re talking Brock Lesnar money, of course) to paint those tire treads across my face.
Then again, considering how badly his fake face tat smudges by the end of every squash match, maybe Tensai should’ve considered at least a stronger tone of face paint.
And a final bad touch comes in the form of Tensai’s green mist that spews from his mouth on occasion. That green Kool-Aid served as a great equalizer for undersized Japanese wrestlers like former WWE star Tajiri.
But when you’re as physically imposing as Bloom is, why do you even need the mist? Furthermore, why did WWE feel the need to create this forced gimmick for Bloom in the first place?
It would’ve been better if Bloom had returned to the WWE airwaves as his last character, Albert. He would’ve already had an established connection with the old school fans who remember him when he joined forces with the late Canadian wrestler Test and the ravishing former WWE Diva Trish Stratus to create the underrated tag team known as T&A.
And Albert still would’ve been just as mysterious as Tensai, simply for the fact that WWE’s younger fans weren’t watching the product back when Bloom was on the active roster as Albert. Frankly, booking Bloom as a reincarnated powerhouse Albert would’ve been far more natural (and entertaining) than this awkward Lord Tensai.
Mr. Laurinaitis better know what he’s doing by putting Tensai in his corner, because if he botches this up, the WWE Universe could be saying sayonara to Tensai very soon.